When the original Legend of Zelda game was released gamers were immediately thrown into an epic adventure with little to no training. Players learned how to wield their sword and to use their items by experiencing the game for themselves. This trend continued pretty much all the way up to Ocarina of Time. Sure there were brief segments here and there with minimal amounts of control tips offered, but for the most part there were no actual training segments.
Since Ocarina of Time Nintendo has taken a different approach. Twilight Princess for instance had one of the longest and most drawn out training sessions of all of the Zelda games. I know these training segments are for the younger and newer fans to the series, but the rest of us have already experienced Zelda before and controls are fairly standard throughout the series.
However, it seems that Nintendo may finally be going back to the roots and cutting back on these lengthy tutorials.In a recent interview with Miyamoto he stated,
“This is actually a topic that has been a big discussion internally for us lately. I think there a couple of things going on. One is that, often times we’re creating games where you’re doing a lot of different actions. Zelda is an example of one of those. And, particularly with these types of games, you have to first learn the action and then you have to master the action and then you have to have more actions added in and master those. Then, when you have a lot of actions you can do all at once is when the game really becomes fun. And with a game like Zelda, on top of that, you have the story elements that also take additional time to tell.
So one of the things we’re talking about internally is how can we get people to that point of fun more quickly, and ‘How do we balance the need to teach them how to do something with the need for them to be able to master it and feel they can do it well?’—and also tell the story—and ‘What is that overall balance and how we approach it?’ That’s one of the key things we’re talking about with Zelda right now. It used to be that actions [in older games]were very simple and you could do them very quickly and easily. Now we’re making games that have so many more actions that you have to learn how to do them.”
In my opinion it would be fantastic if Nintendo were to do just this. There is no need for 30 minute or 1 hour long training sessions. Gamers will naturally develop a feel for the controls and methodology as they adjust. Just look at Minecraft for instance. The PC version offers no tutorials, advice, or anything, yet the game is a smashing hit.
So what do you think? Do you agree with me on this thinking or should tutorials stay in Zelda games?